our research

We are interested in evolutionary changes in physiology and behavior. How do these changes occur? What happens to behavior as the brain evolves? As a model system, our research focuses on chemical senses and chemical ecology in vertebrates; most of our studies involve amphibians, particularly axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) and rough-skinned newts (Taricha granulosa), but we have also worked with other salamanders as well as frogs, lampreys, and goldfish. We use a combination of techniques and approaches, including behavioral observation, neurophysiology, anatomy and histology, molecular biology and bioinformatics, and microbiology.

Students in the lab are encouraged to pursue their own research interests within the general area of biology that includes the study of the evolution of physiology and behavior, particularly with amphibians.

lab motto: “this works great when it works.”